Desert Highlands Golf Club

4.4285714286 4.4 stars from 5 (2)
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 7108 yards
  • Slope: 150
  • Rating: 74.0
  • Layout


Carts: Yes - included in green fees
Pull-carts: No
Clubs: Yes
Caddies: No


Driving range: Yes
Pitching/chipping area: Yes
Putting green: Yes
Teaching pro: Yes


Metal spikes allowed: No
Dress code: Collared shirt required, no denim
Credit cards accepted: Yes

Tees | Layout | Full Scorecard

Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Nicklaus 72 7108 yards 74.0 150
Highlands 72 6957 yards 73.5 146
Palmer 72 6740 yards 72.4 140
Member 72 6532 yards 71.3 136
Player 72 6303 yards 70.4 132
Gentlemen 72 6012 yards 69.0 128
Watson (W) 72 5815 yards 73.4 135
Watson 72 5815 yards 67.9 126
Back Combo (W) 72 5602 yards 72.9 131
Middle (W) 72 5384 yards 71.7 129
Front Combo (W) 72 5207 yards 71.2 124
Front (W) 72 4933 yards 70.2 121

Desert Highlands Golf Club boasts famous players such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tom Watson and the club's course is even a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course. That being said, the club is highly exclusive, there have even been rumors of famous golfers being turned down for play. The challenging course has a target-style design and a desert landscape, which can prove to be quite hazardous around the fairways. The greens are large and undulating. There are large bunkers present throughout as well as water hazards that come into play on a few holes. In addition to the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, Desert Highlands Golf Club also offers a putting course.

Rating Snapshot

GA Rating Index 4.4 stars from 5
Off-Course Amenities: 5.0 stars from 5
Value: 3.7 stars from 5
Pace of Play: 5.0 stars from 5
Staff Friendliness: 4.3 stars from 5
Course Layout: 5.0 stars from 5
Course Conditions: 3.9 stars from 5
Rating Breakdown 2 Reviews
5 stars:
4 stars:
3 stars:
2 stars:
1 stars:

recommend this course

2 out of 2 reviews



Overall Rating
Type of Golfer

jd6236's avatar
Top 250 Contributor
Age:  25-34
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/02/2017

Reviewed on

Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

I recommend this course

"Arizona's best course ruined by terrible greens"

SarajasJ's avatar
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  0-4

3 3.0 stars from 5 Played on 01/07/2015
Previously played Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

I've played Desert Highlands a number of times since the 90s. I have relatives that bring me as a guest. Back in those days, the course was perfect- certainly the best in AZ and one of the best in the US. It has incredible routing- unique holes that make you consider every shot. You need to bring your best game to DH, as there are no easy holes. Nicklaus should be (and probably is) proud of how well he capitalized on a perfect piece of golf real estate.<br/> Here's the issue- some dozen+ years ago they changed the greens from a bent surface to a hybrid grass. The biggest problem is these surfaces won't hold well-hit shots... they are so unreceptive, even after years. Additionally, the greens are inconsistent and don't roll true. And cosmetically they look awful. Having played almost every private club in AZ, I would rank the quality of the greens last among peer clubs. They are THAT BAD.<br/> It is such a massive shame too... the layout kills every other course in the area. Estancia, Troon, Desert Forest, Whisper Rock- all of these can't touch DH from a layout perspective, but every single one has far better greens.<br/> Earlier this year I sat with some of the other top golfers in the club in the men's grill... they mentioned severe management issues (staff and board). It's too bad, because the club is great other than one major, major flaw.

Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Conditions: Poor

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Average

Quality of food & beverage: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging

I recommend this course

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